Thursday, May 07, 2020

Secure your computer!

MORE than 30% of Irish workers have had an online account compromised since they began working from home during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The alarming data has just been released by OneLogin, a global leader in identity and access management, and marks World Password Day (Thursday 8 May).

Of those who had their online accounts compromised, 23% updated their passwords, but the remaining 7% took no action.

Further research published by OneLogin shows that 36% of those surveyed are using personal computers for remote working.

Forty-four percent admit to using their corporate Zoom account for socialising with friends and family, while 25% use work devices for online gambling or gaming; and 13% use it to access adult entertainment sites.

Eighty-one percent of remote workers have received remote working guidelines from their employers, while 65% anticipate their working culture will be realigned to facilitate more remote working in the future.

In line with the government’s Covid-19 restrictions, an estimated 300,000 Irish professionals are currently working remotely.

For many organisations which may not have previously facilitated remote working, this has proven a significant infrastructural challenge for both employers and employees. OneLogin’s study of 5,000 remote employees from Ireland, Britain, the United States, Germany and France reveals that security measures and password best practices have not taken priority during this transition.

Among Irish adults working from home, the research found that 65% are using computers provided by their employers; meanwhile, 35% are remote working on personal computers, often shared by other family members.

The research suggests that 24% of remote workers have updated their home wi-fi password in the last month; 50% have done so in the last 12 months; the remaining 26% haven’t updated their home wi-fi password in the last two years or more.

In addition, 9% of those surveyed admit to doing work using public wi-fi, 11% say they have shared their work computer login details with at least one family member; 13% say they have let a family member use their work computer for personal use; 13% have shared work passwords electronically and 18% have accessed work applications from non-work devices.

Commenting on the figures, OneLogin CEO and president Brad Brooks said: “Organisations everywhere are facing unprecedented challenges as millions of people are working from home. Passwords pose an even greater risk in this WFH environment and, as our study supports, are the weakest link in exposing businesses’ customers and data to bad actors.

“This global remote work study shines a light on the importance of ensuring the right people are accessing internal and customer data at all times. It underscores the importance of protecting employees and their entire organisations, aligning with privacy and security best practices around the world.”

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